Discussion document to inform a policy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth

The Department of the Taoiseach , Friday 28th July, published a discussion document on the Bioeconomy – the part of the economy that uses renewable resources from land and sea. Submissions are invited on the document, which will inform a National Policy Statement to drive developments in the area.

The National Mitigation Plan, Action Plan for Jobs and Action Plan for Rural Development all contain commitments to the strategic development of Ireland’s bioeconomy.

Ireland has numerous renewable biological resources with the potential for the creation of high value products. The bioeconomy uses these resources to produce food, feed, biomaterials, chemicals, pulp and paper, energy and fuels.

Developing Ireland’s bioeconomy will help reduce carbon emissions, create high-skilled engineering and science jobs and contribute to global food security. It also presents an opportunity for indigenous economic development, exports and job creation while reducing our dependency on natural resources and imported materials.

Relevant submissions to the Bioeconomy Discussion Document will input into the drafting of a National Policy Statement on the bioeconomy. The bioeconomy cuts across a number of sectors and Departments, and the objective of the policy statement is to ensure greater policy coherence and assign responsibility to Departments for specific elements of the bioeconomy.

The Bioeconomy Discussion Document

Written submissions should be sent before 15th September 2017. Submissions can be sent by:
Email: bioeconomy@taoiseach.gov.ie
Bioeconomy Consultation,
Dept of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2

Please note that all relevant submissions and comments submitted to the Department of the Taoiseach for this will be placed on the Department’s website.

More Information

An interdepartmental Group was established in late 2016 to scope out current activities, identify further opportunities which may exist, and the potential role of an overarching national policy statement.

The work of the Interdepartmental Group has been informed by:
1. An initial scoping exercise with relevant Departments and Agencies which identified 83 existing or anticipated measures covering research, applied science, engineering projects, policy initiatives, awarenesss programmes and infrastructural investment;

2. A DAFM funded BioÉire project that identified and prioritised potential value chains in the bioeconomy – key issues highlighted included: sufficient scale, international competition, economic/technical feasibility, market availability, consumer acceptance, legislative/regulatory impediments, environmental sustainability, industry fragmentation and competition with food production; and

3. A workshop on future opportunities for the Irish Bioeconomy with stakeholders from Departments, Agencies, industry, academia, and representative bodies. Key points emerging included: the need for an overall policy framework and governance structure, deeper integration and supports, cooperation between sectors, prioritising areas where Ireland is at an advantage, strategic assessment of supply and demand for products and materials.

The Interdepartmental Group, with the active input from relevant Departments, has helped develop a discussion document (attached) for the preparation of a national policy statement on the bioeconomy. It poses a number of questions for respondents.

The national policy statement will establish the principles underlying the bioeconomy, set the framework for developments and actions at sectoral level and ensure Ireland is best placed to take advantage of increasing opportunities at EU level (including the new funding streams to come on board in 2018).

Source: Department of the Taoiseach